Process for auction of mines begins in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has begun the process for auction of mines in the state.

Talking to the media on Sunday, Director of Mines, Deepak Mohanty said the state government has come up with a notification for auction of 12 mines by December this year.

“The state government has apprised the Rajya Sabha Legislature Committee about notification to this effect. It has also told the committee that it would submit a report relating to auction of mines within ten days”, he added.

Among the 12 mines that the state government has proposed for auctioning include five mines each of iron ore and limestone and one each of manganese and bauxite, said official sources.

Allotment of mines through the auction route has been made mandatory after the amended MMDR Act came into force. The MMDR Act was amended to introduce transparency in a sector that has been marked by shady ‘allotments’ in the past.

The committee headed by the development commissioner has identified and proposed for auction of 12 mines in the state for the present.

Steel & Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick earlier this month had informed that the process for auction of mines in the state was scheduled to start by the end of December this year.

“We asked some pertinent questions such as how many mines are opened, how many are there going to be opened in future and how much stance they are following. We also want to know categorically from the state government when they are finally going to do this”, said T. Subarami Reddy, chairman of Rajya Sabha Legislature Committee after a high-level meeting here.

“One should follow the rule and transparency when it comes to the process for auction of mines,” Reddy added.